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Old October 13th, 2010, 08:20 PM   #581
aab7772003
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Originally Posted by thun View Post
Except that it isn't. If it would be the case, only small parts of France, Spain, Italy, Germany would have economical successful rail operations in Europe. Obviously, that isn't the case.
The "formula to success" (if you want to formulat a universal one) is to prvide good service at reasonable prices for your customers. But that doesn't necessarily have to mean "real" high speed services.

It would be like saying that a large intercontinental network is an essential element for the success of an airline, ignoring that there are lots of regional and national airlines on the market as well.


Which of course isn't done in Switzerland as well. Your point is what exactly?
The post makes absolutely NO SENSE.
1. How about Japan, parts of East Asia, as well as parts of USA and Canada? Do not confuse operational profitability of the actual rail services with the willingness of the governments to invest in the tracks.
2. Do not forget that so many regional rail services are provided as heavily subsidized social services. Economic success can be claimed as long as someone pays the tab, in your opinion. As a matter of fact, many short-haul airline services are provided because of government financial guarantee.
3. For most travelers these days, long distance rail services do not really mean good services if they are not high-speed services.
4. The way you preach about multimodal transport system timetable with medium speed rail transport at the core is obsessive. It is perfectly alright to wait more than 15 minutes for some rural rail services, coach services, U-Bahn/S-Bahn services.

Again, there are very obvious "centers of gravity" in the German long-distance network.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7772003 View Post

...

Frankfurt - Munich via Nürnberg
Frankfurt - Munich via Stuttgart
Frankfurt - Berlin via Hannover
Berlin - Hamburg
Frankfurt -Hamburg via Hannover
Cologne - Hamburg via Hannover
Frankfurt - Cologne

...
Actually, the ENTIRE, rather than small parts of, Germany can support true high speed rail services as there are big urban centers throughout country. Actually, the current bi-hourly Nürnberg - Munich express RE services traveling on the same ICE Nürnberg - Munich high speed tracks with travel time almost as fast as the Nürnberg - Munich ICE services are jammed packed every departure. There goes your "not necessarily high speed" argument with the wind. These anti Stuttgart 21 bandits will not get enough of the equivalent Stuttgart - Ulm express RE services just as well in the future. They love high-speed but detest Stuttgart 21. What a hypocrisy, what a contradiction!

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Old October 13th, 2010, 09:44 PM   #582
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[QUOTE=aab7772003;65284449]The post makes absolutely NO SENSE.
Quote:
How about Japan, parts of East Asia, as well as parts of USA and Canada? Do not confuse operational profitability of the actual rail services with the willingness of the governments to invest.
Then you should have defined "formula to success" exactly. To be honest, I still can't see what "success" would be for you. Still, show me how the railways of countris lie Switzerland or Austria due to the absence of any HSL are not successful in any way.
I stick to it: Not every country needs a HSL network to have a successful rail system (no matter how you want to design success).

Quote:
Do not forget that so many regional rail services are provided as heavily subsidized social services. Economic success can be claimed as long as someone pays the tab, in your opinion.
Well, to certain point yes. You will hardly find any company which has a portfolio of only profitable products. This is the norm, not the exception in most industries as a company might want to provide full service or is forced to offer unprofitable complementary products to keep their cash cows profitable. Why should a rail operator work differently? (As well, I wouldn't be surprised if Lufthansa had quite a few connections where they wouldn't earn a single cent)
If the government is willed to pay the tab - why not? Its on the people to define their tasks, if the people want to have decend rail coverage, so shall it be.

Quote:
For most travelers these days, long distance rail services do not really mean good services if they are not high-speed services.
Source? Own opinion?
I'd rather say that for most rail travellers these days, good services means comfortable and reliable connections within a decent time and for attractive prices. If you would be right, than no-one would use a IC between Frankfurt and Cologne or Hamburg and Munich, but everyone would use the ICE.

Quote:
The way you preach about multimodal transport system timetable with medium speed rail transport at the core is obsessive. It is perfectly alright to wait more than 15 minutes for some rural rail services, coach services, U-Bahn/S-Bahn services.
Which I don't preach. I just say that high speed rail isn't the perfect solution and can't be the only way to the future for rail operators. Of course it ist justified on routes where it makes sense. But investing in high speed rail shouldn't mean deinvesting in the existing network or even cut services elsewhere. And upgrating the old tracks makes sense where a HSL doesn't for some reason.

Quote:
Again, there are very obvious "centers of gravity" in the German long-distance network.
Which no-one ever questioned here.

Quote:
Actually, the ENTIRE, rather than small parts of, Germany can support true high speed rail services as there are big urban centers throughout country.
I don't beliefe that. There are quite a lot inter city lines where building a 300km/h HSL would be a waste of money (e. g. the lines Nuremberg - Passau, Ulm - Oberstdorf, Hamburg - Kiel/Westerland, etc.) because they aren't that important. I simply can't see how the entire network could support true HSL, even if we talk only about the inter city network only. There isn't any country at all where that would make sense.
The Nuremberg - Passau line is a good example where upgrating the old line (creating higher speeds and above all raise freight capacity) would probably make much more sense than some fancy HSL.
Even on rather short connections (maybe Nuremberg - Würzburg or so) upgrating the existing line is more logical, as a train would hardly reach the 300 km/h anyway. Investing several hundred millions in saving one or two minutes only for some ICEs is hardly justifiable to me.


By the way, I'm not against Stuttgart 21 per se (I'm not for it either because I lack of knowledge of the local situation to make my own judgment). And I'm against the HSL Wendlingen - Ulm only to that point that it would have made sense modernize the plans to 300 km/h if they are already 20 years old. Then, it's still Germany and rewriting the whole thing would probably have resulted in another 15 year delay.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #583
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thun View Post

I don't beliefe that. There are quite a lot inter city lines where building a 300km/h HSL would be a waste of money (e. g. the lines Nuremberg - Passau, Ulm - Oberstdorf, Hamburg - Kiel/Westerland, etc.) because they aren't that important. I simply can't see how the entire network could support true HSL, even if we talk only about the inter city network only. There isn't any country at all where that would make sense.
The Nuremberg - Passau line is a good example where upgrating the old line (creating higher speeds and above all raise freight capacity) would probably make much more sense than some fancy HSL.
Even on rather short connections (maybe Nuremberg - Würzburg or so) upgrating the existing line is more logical, as a train would hardly reach the 300 km/h anyway. Investing several hundred millions in saving one or two minutes only for some ICEs is hardly justifiable to me.


By the way, I'm not against Stuttgart 21 per se (I'm not for it either because I lack of knowledge of the local situation to make my own judgment). And I'm against the HSL Wendlingen - Ulm only to that point that it would have made sense modernize the plans to 300 km/h if they are already 20 years old. Then, it's still Germany and rewriting the whole thing would probably have resulted in another 15 year delay.
It is like the most locals in Stuttgart have real knowledge of the situation, NOT.

Your local train examples have nothing to do with my "whole country" HSR network:

Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7772003 View Post

...

Frankfurt - Munich via Nürnberg
Frankfurt - Munich via Stuttgart
Frankfurt - Berlin via Hannover
Berlin - Hamburg
Frankfurt -Hamburg via Hannover
Cologne - Hamburg via Hannover
Frankfurt - Cologne

...
Nürnberg - Würzburg HSR makes sense, when the line is part of the potential Munich - Frankfurt high speed line.

It only saves a couple of minutes here and there in Germany because all those NIMBYs force DB to build HSR tracks here and there and local governments makes DB ICE trains stop at stations like Hagen. The travel time between Cologne and Fankfurt would be 50 minutes instead of one hour without the two unnecessary stops!

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Old October 13th, 2010, 10:56 PM   #584
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Then you should have defined "formula to success" exactly. To be honest, I still can't see what "success" would be for you. Still, show me how the railways of countris lie Switzerland or Austria due to the absence of any HSL are not successful in any way.
I stick to it: Not every country needs a HSL network to have a successful rail system (no matter how you want to design success).

I repeat ONCE AGAIN that the "Swiss" model works for Switzerland because Switzerland is tiny AND mountainous country. In the case of the Netherlands, the rail network of the country would not reach its full potentials if the Netherlands did not upgrade its trunk rail lines connecting to the trunk rail lines of other countries with HSR services into the HSR standard. In the case of the Netherlands, high population density is a much weaker excuse, in comparison with legitimate concern with the mountains in the Switzerland. In the long term, the Dutch rail network would fail to do the job it is given to do because it cannot transport people to places in reasonable speed. Speed is comfort as well; people expect faster travel speed in the long term...

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Originally Posted by aab7772003 View Post

TODAY, the travel time between Paris and Munich is 6.25 hours with only the Paris - Strasbourg high speed tracks. It will be reduced to around 4.75 hours in the future when Stuttgart 21 and the second phrase of LGV Est are completed. It is obvious to see that the travel time between Paris and Munich would last as much as 8 hours with the "incremental" upgrades only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thun View Post
If the government is willed to pay the tab - why not? Its on the people to define their tasks, if the people want to have decend rail coverage, so shall it be.


Source? Own opinion?
I'd rather say that for most rail travellers these days, good services means comfortable and reliable connections within a decent time and for attractive prices. If you would be right, than no-one would use a IC between Frankfurt and Cologne or Hamburg and Munich, but everyone would use the ICE.
I would be interested to know how many people actually travel between Hamburg and Munich by rail in relation to the total number of passengers traveling between Hamburg and Munich in all modes of transportation. The travel time difference between ICE and IC on Munich - Frankfurt route are not that drastic because of the tracks.

The government is willing to pay for Stuttgart 21! On the other hand, will the government and tax payers ever make money back from the heavily subsidized service at all?

Speed totally means comfort in the following example:

Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7772003 View Post
Actually, the current bi-hourly Nürnberg - Munich express RE services traveling on the same ICE Nürnberg - Munich high speed tracks with travel time almost as fast as the Nürnberg - Munich ICE services are jammed packed every departure. There goes your "not necessarily high speed" argument with the wind.
Are you still as wild about the old route via Regensburg that takes another extra hour of travel time as you were before?

Last edited by aab7772003; October 14th, 2010 at 04:17 PM.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #585
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thun View Post

...

Well, to certain point yes. You will hardly find any company which has a portfolio of only profitable products. This is the norm, not the exception in most industries as a company might want to provide full service or is forced to offer unprofitable complementary products to keep their cash cows profitable. Why should a rail operator work differently? (As well, I wouldn't be surprised if Lufthansa had quite a few connections where they wouldn't earn a single cent)

...

Which I don't preach. I just say that high speed rail isn't the perfect solution and can't be the only way to the future for rail operators. Of course it ist justified on routes where it makes sense. But investing in high speed rail shouldn't mean deinvesting in the existing network or even cut services elsewhere. And upgrating the old tracks makes sense where a HSL doesn't for some reason.

...
In fact, private companies like Lufthansa does take money away from the less profitable products and invests it on the more profitable ones. Private firms PRECISELY stop funding "dogs" because they are out there to make money above all else. In the famous printer/ink jet example, printer manufacturers possibly sell printers at a calculated loss only because they can make obscene profits on ink jet replacements; they probably would not keep making printers for the low profit margins if there were no ink jet replacements to generate obscene profits.

DB is interested in the very profitable stand-alone city center to city center services across Germany and Europe, with or without connecting services to small towns and villages. People could only make demands on DB in such a disgracefully militant manner if DB were a full government ministry and its entire operations were fully funded by the tax money. They could not force DB to make excessive investments on infrastructure for the local services when the returns on these services are less than 6% and the local and federal governments do not make enough financial commitments to justify the investments. You cannot tell DB to keep operating the IC carriages instead of replacing them with ICE carriages when it is time for these carriages to retire.

People IMAGINE that rail services are being cut en masse because of their paranoia. If the statistics are looked at objectively, people will not say that rail and bus services to the rural and/or remote areas of Germany have been cut en masse, nonstop.

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Old October 13th, 2010, 11:43 PM   #586
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Well, that certainly helps your point.
If you can't accept other opinions, then this is indeed pointless.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 11:51 PM   #587
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Originally Posted by thun View Post
Hm. All in one paragraph. It's not too hard to understand, is it?
Excuse me. You wrote a 7-line-paragraph in which the context got completely lost. If you want to be understood you have to express yourself clearly and don't excuse your readers to lack the intellectual capacity to get your long-winded remarks as they were meant.

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Originally Posted by thun View Post
Still, is a mode of transport that is something between 20 and 45min (depending on the location you're heading to) worth 60€ more or double the price of an alternative? Probably yes if your company pays for it, probably not if you have to do so yourself. There you have it, both can be viable at the same time.
There is nothing that can excuse short-distance flights. These flights only exist because the rail service is too slow. You know this. You just don't want to admit it. Even the DB got their act together between Berlin and Hamburg.

Zürich - Milano
distance: ~280 km
fastest rail service: 220 min
number of flights: 53 per week

Berlin - Hamburg
distance: ~290 km
fastest rail service: 100 min
number of flights: 3 per week

The Swiss rail strategy to focus purely on transfer time leaves the door open for short-haul flights. And this is simply a failure.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #588
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Originally Posted by aab7772003 View Post
It is like the most locals in Stuttgart have real knowledge of the situation, NOT.
Even then, they have more right to make up their own opinion than I would claim for myself as they are directly affected.
Your whole sentence is totally stupid. Germany is a democratic country. Fortunately you can't forbid anyone to have an opinion. Deal with it.

Quote:
Your local train examples have nothing to do with my "whole country" HSR network:
Well, ICs are hardly "local trains". The question is: where does it make sense to have HSLs - then, we agree of the need of a core network, don't we?

Quote:
Nürnberg - Würzburg HSR makes sense, when the line is part of the potential Munich - Frankfurt high speed line.
Maybe. If the cost-utility ratio is acceptable, why not.

Quote:
It only saves couple of minutes here and there in Germany because all those NIMBYs force DB to build HSR tracks here and there and local governments makes DB ICE trains stop at stations like Hagen.
Well, that's how our federal styled democracy works. That will hardly change.
And NIMBYs aren't a German phenomenon only.

I don't think that HSLs like in France or Spain would make sense in Germany as stations in the middle of nowhere would be wrong planning here. Unlike Spain, Germany has a dense network of railways already. Not integrating new HSLs and creating sufficient cross-connections (and that includes regular stops in between) would be wrong in termy of traffic planning and in terms of economical success as it can create enormous network effects (another factor supporting this is the more widely spread population in Germany compared to these countries).
And as a matter fact most distances are shorter than in France or Spain, so the commercial speed can be a little bit lower and the train can still compete with the plane.
But - I point this out explicitely for you - that doesn't mean that every ICE has to stop at every church tower! But I don't think that an ICE line with only two stops in the middle (like on the Madrid - Sevilla or the Madrid - Barcelona HSLs) could work between Munich and Hamburg apart from some few Sprinter connections.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 12:02 AM   #589
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
And for a route that has a huge mountain range in the middle of it that is mightely impressive. Can you give me an example of anywhere in the world where a similar route operates faster?
Tokyo - Niigata
distance: ~330 km
fastest rail service: 107 min
number of flights: 0
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Old October 14th, 2010, 12:09 AM   #590
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
There is nothing that can excuse short-distance flights. These flights only exist because the rail service is too slow. You know this. You just don't want to admit it. Even the DB got their act together between Berlin and Hamburg.
No, I don't think so. You won't find many routes where HSR replaced all flights - not even on the very successful Paris - Lyon route. The share can change of course, but no mode of transport replaces another completely.
And, again, travel time is (although important) not everything that influences a customer decision.

Quote:
Zürich - Milano
distance: ~280 km
fastest rail service: 220 min
number of flights: 53 per week

Berlin - Hamburg
distance: ~290 km
fastest rail service: 100 min
number of flights: 3 per week
Are you serious? Berlin-Hamburg is flat like a plate whereas Zurich - Milan crosses a mayor mountain range.
And Zurich and Malpensa are both international hubs for air travel. Neither Hamburg or Berlin airport have that importance.
Hardly comparable at all.

That's actually supporting my point: Hamburg - Berlin is "only" a upgrated normal railway and yet it can compete with the plane.
By the way: There was a 300km/h HSL proposed, costs 6 billion Marks (plus a complete renovation of the old railway which would have been necessary anyway). The upgrate was "only" roughly 5.5 billion with a travel time which is about 20min longer.

Quote:
The Swiss rail strategy to focus purely on transfer time leaves the door open for short-haul flights. And this is simply a failure.
Erm, no. In that case aab123 is right. Because of the relatively short distances, short-haul flights wouldn't make sense for most travellers in Switzerland anyway.
There are probably very few travellers on routes like St. Gallen - Geneva, so the passenger volume does not justify investing in a HSL.

And again - coordinated schedules and reducing transfer times does not automatically mean low speeds. But in the case of Switzerland (again, relatively short distances) it made more sense to focus on only one element. It is really not that hard to understand, is it?
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Last edited by thun; October 14th, 2010 at 12:27 AM.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 12:31 AM   #591
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
Tokyo - Niigata
distance: ~330 km
fastest rail service: 107 min
number of flights: 0
Seems to confirm you can get quite far without having to resort to extreme high speeds...
But I wouldn't place the central mountain range in Japan in the same league as the Alps. The Gotthard massif needed a 56km long tunnel to get a level route through...

However, what is your point? Nobody disputes that the Japanese have an excellent railway system. I just dispute your claim that the success of the Swiss railway system has no relevance outside of Switzerland.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 12:39 AM   #592
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There is nothing that can excuse short-distance flights. These flights only exist because the rail service is too slow. You know this.
I know this to be not true. But will it be of any use to argue this with you?

Quote:
Zürich - Milano
distance: ~280 km
fastest rail service: 220 min
number of flights: 53 per week
How many flights are there weekly between Zürich and Chiasso?

You overlook one major detail: Milano is in Italy. Simply putting one end of a railway service in Italy reduces it's attractiveness significantly. If there is one thing chasing people away from the train on this route it is not a lack of speed, it is a lack of reliability. A slower but more reliable service would attract more customers.
Other routes of similar length and speed, but wholly within Switzerland, have a lot more success.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 12:44 AM   #593
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
Zürich - Milano
distance: ~280 km
fastest rail service: 220 min
number of flights: 53 per week

Berlin - Hamburg
distance: ~290 km
fastest rail service: 100 min
number of flights: 3 per week
Zürich - Milano in 2019
distance: ~265 km
fastest rail service: 160 min

Just to compare: average of 100 km/h versus 75 km/h today and 175 km/h for the Berlin-Hamburg line.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 01:36 AM   #594
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Seems to confirm you can get quite far without having to resort to extreme high speeds...
But I wouldn't place the central mountain range in Japan in the same league as the Alps. The Gotthard massif needed a 56km long tunnel to get a level route through...
It confirms that your last resort is digression. At this point any further debate with you is pointless.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 01:53 AM   #595
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Originally Posted by thun View Post
Well, that certainly helps your point.
If you can't accept other opinions, then this is indeed pointless.
You keep "believing in" and repeating your own opinions without ever accepting my opinions. You are exactly behaving in the manner you are accusing me of. What an irony and pointless indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thun View Post
Even then, they have more right to make up their own opinion than I would claim for myself as they are directly affected.
Your whole sentence is totally stupid. Germany is a democratic country. Fortunately you can't forbid anyone to have an opinion. Deal with it.

...

Well, that's how our federal styled democracy works. That will hardly change.
And NIMBYs aren't a German phenomenon only.

I don't think that HSLs like in France or Spain would make sense in Germany as stations in the middle of nowhere would be wrong planning here. Unlike Spain, Germany has a dense network of railways already. Not integrating new HSLs and creating sufficient cross-connections (and that includes regular stops in between) would be wrong in termy of traffic planning and in terms of economical success as it can create enormous network effects (another factor supporting this is the more widely spread population in Germany compared to these countries).
And as a matter fact most distances are shorter than in France or Spain, so the commercial speed can be a little bit lower and the train can still compete with the plane.
But - I point this out explicitely for you - that doesn't mean that every ICE has to stop at every church tower! But I don't think that an ICE line with only two stops in the middle (like on the Madrid - Sevilla or the Madrid - Barcelona HSLs) could work between Munich and Hamburg apart from some few Sprinter connections.
Since we live in a democratic world, I will keep expressing my opinions. Since DB is a private company, DB will continue pursuing its commercial interests like any profit-oriented company would do.

That´s why there is Stuttgart 21 because even DB is not interested in building an HSR terminal in the middle of nowhere or turn the Stuttgart airport station into the only ICE station for Stuttgart.

In fact, I have been explicitly pointing out it is not necessary for ICE trains to stop at every station all along. Because of the wonderful "network effect," people living in Darmstadt can just take the S-Bahn to Frankfurt to catch the ICE trains. Because of the misguided belief in the "slower commercial speed," rail journey between Frankfurt city center and Munich city center is not even a little bit faster than the same journey by plane and local transportation.

Most Germans would say it is not necessary to build the Nürnberg - Munich high speed line because the old line via Regensburg taking an extra hour of travel time, in comparison with the new rail line, clogs up a travel time comparable to the same journey by plane and local transportation, and of course people in Regensburg need to have the equal standard of mobility since Germany is such a wonderful democracy. Well, the reality is a different story. Travelers cannot have enough of the current bi-hourly Nürnberg - Munich express RE services traveling on the same ICE tracks, with travel time almost as fast as the Nürnberg - Munich ICE services.,

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Old October 14th, 2010, 02:17 AM   #596
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There are no direct flights between Hamburg and Berlin at all, these have been stopped already long before the railway has been upgraded.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 02:27 AM   #597
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There are no direct flights between Hamburg and Berlin at all, these have been stopped already long before the railway has been upgraded.
Cologne - Frankfurt flights are long gone too because of the Cologne - Frankfurt high speed line. Lufthansa still provides feeder services to FRA from Cologne via DB without holding onto the former RJ and B737 services. In a word, LH provides the "same" product without investing in the "same" product. Private firms do operate differently.

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Old October 14th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #598
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@ Digger: Afaik, last scheduled bookable flights by LH on TXL-HAM were in 2002. ICE-Traffic started in 1997 after the railway had been upgraded a first time in the 90s, with a scheduled ´length of journey of just above 2 hours in 2002. This already kind of killed the demand for flights on that route. The upgrade to 230 km/h up until 2006 just shortened the length of journey again.

@ aab7772003: since when is DB a private company? Just because it's a Stock company does not mean it's private. Please get your facts straight. Additionally, arguing with profit needs in the case of Stuttgart 21 is kind of strange considering the amount of subsidies invloved.

Last edited by Dase; October 14th, 2010 at 11:14 AM.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #599
LMB
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I was bashing you people for getting away from the subject matter, but now is my bash:

I seem to fail to locate the original post, but somebody wrote that "integrated hourly plan was successful in Germany".

Well, I beg to differ. Trains on certain lines are notoriously empty. Surely some lines are used up to their capacity, but running trains with 5% capacity (yes, 5%), is nowhere near "successful", whether "successful" is meant in the sense of economy, or in the sense of fuel efficiency.

Those, who hate to hear that lines have to be economical can take into consideration fuel efficiency. What is the sense of running a 50t train for 8 people? What is the sense of running a 15m bus for two people? How often is is that I get off the bus as the last passenger, and then the bus continues empty? Is the Stundentaktplan then a success, or a failure on such lines?

Is the fact that a train leaves "always at the some minute of an hour" of any advantage in the times of internet and common access to computers? Isn't there a terminal in each DB station? I mean, do I have to memorize when the train leaves, when I use HAFAS every day anyway?
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Old October 14th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #600
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Coming back to Stuttgart:
I think that similar thinking, that is "we have to do it, basta, never mind the costs or economical sense" is unfortunately common in Germany. Has anybody given a thought what will happen once DB is completely privatized, and it has to compete with other companies? That may increase the cost of running trains on less popular lines by far, because I am sure that DB "sponsors" those lines from the income of more popular lines. It is illegal, but easy to conceal.

What if BW suddenly has to pay much, much more for trains on some God-forgotten line to Scheiseloch am Bach? Will they continue paying for the connection used by 8 people, or will somebody say "wait a minute, there is a bus service that only takes 5 minutes longer than the train".

Has anybody taken such things into consideration, or is economy a taboo, as it often is?

Just to put things into perspective: I am an immigrant in Germany, and I like the place. But having lived in a few other countries I am simply worried when I see certain things. The taboo of touching certain topics, especially when they are about money and efficiency, is surprising. Seems to me things are done in Germany without looking at the cost effectiveness way too often.
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